A packed house at the New Wimbledon Theatre rose as one to salute Ria Jones’ bow at the close of Sunset Boulevard and with good reason. Jones remains magnificent, her definitive, decaying diva capturing Norma Desmond’s long-faded Hollywood majesty.
The musical, based on the 1950 Billy Wilder film, with music composed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, depicts the close-knit working relationship that both characters form, and the dire consequences that manifest from their alliance with each other.
There is no doubt that Ria Jones, as Norma Desmond, owns the Curve theatre’s production of Sunset Boulevard that lights into the Edinburgh Playhouse on the first date of its major UK tour.
There is a magic that pervades Nikolai Foster’s production of Sunset Boulevard, and it flows from leading lady Ria Jones. Twenty-six years after creating the role of Norma Desmond for Andrew Lloyd Webber at the composer’s Sydmonton Festival, Jones now leads the show and never has a casting been more perfect.